Sunday, May 19, 2024

Rupert Shipperley: What I’ve learnt as an attacking midfielder

Master Class: The GB and Hockey Wales player on Chaos Games and securing the ball better

I suppose one of the biggest areas for me is being close around the circle and keeping the stick on the ball inside the D.

If you have the ball in the circle then it’s hard for the defender to take it off you. We do lots of 2 v 2’s in small spaces in the circle where there lots of deflections.

It’s all about securing the ball and where I’ve been working on my game the most. It’s been really beneficial and in the number of goals I’ve scored where defenders can’t take the ball off you and you have it secured.

If you’ve got the opportunity to smoke it, then do so! But most of the time you aren’t able to do that. What’s been beneficial is that I have been able to work on it at Hampstead and with Wales and it’s really helped me to progress.

We call it the ‘Chaos Game’ where you turn off from the injection spot either side, with one goal on the top of the D and one on the traditional spot. We would have two teams of five and you continue to rotate, so you get both defending and attacking in the circle.

If you score you keep the ball. If there is a free hit or a 16, you receive the ball from the corner and so it helps with your transition play as well and reacting to turnovers.

It’s a good game as you’ve got to enjoy it, otherwise you are defending the whole time and as an attacking midfielder or forward, it’s not really what you want to be doing in the circle.

Total Hockey

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